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Mike 'n Angelo's: not your typical Buckhead

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Genre: Proud to be a hole in a (Buckhead) wall

Where to: The outer edge of Buckhead Village

The Scene: The small, square building on East Paces Ferry Road is divided into two rooms: In the barroom, several frankly fake animal heads adorn the wall behind the bar. The ceiling is an amusing quilt of customized acoustic tiles that must be seen to be believed. A stained glass panel canonizes Jerry Garcia. The usual tacky pinball machine is also present. The adjoining game room offers two dart lanes, two billiards tables, a couple of TVs and tons of decorative beer signs. There are several booths in both rooms, creating plenty of seating. There's no dance space whatsoever, and no one here misses it.

The Clientele: The people are a little rougher around the edges than the typical Buckhead partier -- more diverse in age, dress, shape and social status, but not as pretty (though I don't mean that in a bad way).

Drinks: Wines by the glass include a choice of several house wines. Beer choices include a dozen bottled domestic, six bottled imports, five domestic draught and seven imports. Pitchers are available.

Munchies: This isn't a restaurant/bar -- but it's a bar where you can get a meal. Starters are mostly standard fried and cheesy stuff, along with other bar food: salads, burgers and sandwiches. There are also all-you-can-eat spaghetti plates and ribs plates and a strip steak.

The most notable menu option is the "Buckhead Burger: burnt, served with a $52 tab .... $52." I'm tempted to order it, just to see what happens. But I predict they'd serve it straight-faced, and present the bill just as deadpan. So I skip it.

Wallet impact: A glass of wine ranges from $4.25-$7.25. Beer has a narrower range of $3.25-$4 per bottle with pitchers running $10-$12. Appetizers are in the $5 neighborhood with entrees going from $6 to the aforementioned $52.

There's no cover and free parking if you can find it (it's rather scarce on this side of the district). Otherwise, it's pay lots.

No dress code: Mike 'n Angelo's slogan is "Buckhead's authentic neighborhood bar," and walking in, I'm struck by how different this is than the typical Buckhead meat market or dance dive. After a tough night of navigating the neighborhood, it feels good to just sit my ass down and have a beer. The bar staff is straightforward and friendly, and the patrons are a boisterous mixed bunch. It's not hard to fit in, mainly because no one gives a damn. And I don't mean that in a bad way either.

Mike 'N Angelo's. Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-4 a.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sun. 12:30 p.m.-12 a.m. 312 E. Paces Ferry Road, 404-237-0949.

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